Monday, April 30, 2007

Pre and Post-Date Wrap Up, Candidate #1

Candidate 1: 34 year old former IT professional who created his own business in the recent past. Single, but shared custody of a dog from his last relationship of 3-years that did not lead to marriage.

First Impression: A nice, well-spoken gentlemanly type. Well educated, and shares several of my interests in common. Appears good-looking and confident with a great smile from his profile pictures, however these can be deceiving.

Second impression (from brief msn chats):
Repeats the following phrases a little too often- “I have a good feeling about you,” and “ Are you very affectionate, because I love being affectionate.” Our online conversations are a little stilted and short, and he also has a bad habit of saying he’ll be right back only to disappear for the remainder of the evening.

The Plan:
A 7pm meeting at a Starbucks. Our first attempt was cancelled just hours before hand for a “business meeting with an important client at 7 pm”. Our second attempt the following week was for afternoon coffee at Starbucks, which I cancelled last minute because I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind and I wanted to give him a fair chance. The third time the following week actually happens.

Pre-date feelings: Apprehensive. Candidate #1 is a little older than I’d prefer and I’m picking up some strange vibes from his comments and behaviour. I’m trying to remain open minded, but wouldn’t be surprised if he is the “touchy-feely” type and a little on the creepy side. I expect a civil date, but no sparks and most likely no second date.

The Date: He is pretty nervous, understandably, but looks like his picture, which is always a good thing. The only minor difference is I detect faint, but distinct features/scars from a cleft-palate, but it’s no big deal. The barista’s all know him and later he admits to coming to Starbucks 3-5 times a week and hanging out, which I find a bit yuppie, but each to his own, right? The first hour of conversation is a little more awkward than normal for a first date, and he is definitely your typical IT geek, but not in the “dungeon’s & dragon’s” sense- more like he spends too much time at work and hasn’t fully developed his social skills, as well as harbouring a few personality quirks. By the third hour he’s more relaxed and comfortable and I have a relatively good time. Thankfully he refrains from touching me or encroaching on my personal space and doesn't come across as creepy.

Prior to the date I had, for the first time in my dating life, developed an exit strategy with my roommates. Someone was going to call my cell phone just after 8 o’clock. If I wasn’t desperate to get out of there after an hour I wouldn’t pick up, but if I wasn’t feeling it at all I would answer and the story would be that my house mate just got off work, her car wouldn’t start and I needed to go pick her up since I was the only other housemate with a car. She called at just after 8 and I didn’t even hear the phone. Had I heard it I probably would have answered, not because I was having a horrible time, but more so because I was getting tired and I had to pull out the side-show of witty anecdotes and odd but interesting tidbits from my life since the conversation was flagging a bit and he wasn’t giving me anything to work with. When necessary I can really “market” myself well, but it's exhausting. It’s funny because at one point he said that he thought I was the type that could sell ice to Eskimos.

Oddities of the date:

- At one point he offered me a job in his friends business. They company was looking for someone to sell the product, something I know nothing about, not to mention that I’ve never done sales before.

- He discussed the “custody dispute” ongoing with the dog he bought with his former live-in girlfriend. It was a bit weird and he was obviously bitter and upset over it still. In January she cut off all contact and wouldn’t allow him weekends with the dog because she believed he was using the dog to get back together with her. I have no way to corroborate this, however he adamantly states that it was the dog he wanted to see, not her since it was his idea to buy the dog and he picked her out, cared for her and had a greater attachment to her.

- He brought up “the site” in a whisper that I didn’t catch at first, and asked how long I’d been online for and why I decided to go try a dating site.

- We discussed the myriad of coffee shops in our city and the pro’s and con’s of several, including those that have free wireless. He then proposed that one day we go to the free-wireless spot to work together since he could pick up his stuff and work outside the office whenever. He thought it would be great to work across from each other on our laptops, occasionally gazing over the screen at each other. While this seems cute, it was a bit quick for me to be envisioning any sort of long-term relationship that would have matured to the point where we work together at a coffee shop for a “date”.

The Verdict: It wasn’t horrible, but there weren't sparks everywhere either. However, I’d be willing to commit to a second date to see if there is any potential since first dates, especially blind ones, are not the easiest for seeing if the other individual is really compatible. My only caveat is the distinct impression I have that he's looking for a wife and chasing the white picket fence dream pretty hard right now. In the end I came home I fired off an email, thanking him for a good time and leaving the door open if he was interested in a second date.

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